As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many employers are asking if they can require employees to get vaccinated, and what they can do if workers refuse. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) weighed in today with new guidance (see Section K) that answers some workplace vaccination questions.
Employers may encourage or possibly require COVID-19 vaccinations, but policies must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other workplace laws, according to the EEOC.
“An employee with a religious objection or a disability may need to be excused from the mandate or otherwise accommodated,” noted John Lomax, an attorney with Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix. “Additionally, if an objecting employee is a union-represented employee, the employer may need to bargain and reach an agreement with the union before mandating vaccines.”
Visit SHRM’s new Vaccination Resource Page to learn more about how to handle onsite vaccinations, the policies you need and accommodations for workers who opt not to get the vaccine.